« on: 14/09/2013 18:07:35 »
Consciousness is the experiencing of feelings (qualia), including feelings of understanding and feelings of awareness.
In that case there is no way of knowing whether an entity possesses it without being that entity. Any actor can lie convincingly about the feelings of a wholly fictional character, so a smiley computer could give a perfectly valid reason for you to believe that it had some feelings about something. This is a dangerous definition as you can use it to justify the concept of untermensch - anyone whose expression of feelings differs from yours, or can be dismissed (without proof being necessary) as a lie. It is very close to the Catholic translation of Genesis in which, to justify bear-baiting, only humans were ascribed a soul, despite all Hebrew versions giving all animals a nefesh.